Man, that kid is about to get lit the fuck up! It’s just happenstance that I’m reviewing an album with this cover on the day Florence goes tearing into the Carolinas.
So, what do we have on the insides of this awesome album cover? Ummm…it’s kind of hard to pin down. These guys are from Australia and seem to be in that same sort of modern metal vein where the likes of TesseracT, Coheed and Cambrian and The Contortionist dwell. The music is not metal in the traditional sense. I don’t see Maiden or Priest being touchstones for these guys’ inspiration. The music is technically proficient pop metal and it is very clean in its production. Actually, the production is almost anti-septic in its presentation. This is the exactly opposite sound of the fuzzy doom of Sleep and Electric Wizard. Overtop of this modern sound are the very clean and highly emotive vocals of Ben Rechter, who kind of reminds me of a crossover of Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria and Daniel Gildenlow of Pain of Salvation.
Overall, this album just didn’t do a whole lot for me. I’m honestly not sure I’m the best demographic for these guys. I just kept hoping that they would cut things loose a little more than they do. The sound is just so conceptualized and clean that it just doesn’t feel dangerous or edgy in any form. Metal really needs that aspect, in my opinion. However, this is just one middle-aged, burned-out metalhead’s viewpoint. As I said, I’m not really sure the dudes in Circles are really targeting dudes like me as their core audience. At any rate, these dudes are talented musicians. It’s just not really my cup of tea. If you’re into any of the bands listed above, you’ll probably dig the hell out of this thing.
3 flip flops out of 5